Last week I (partially) participated in the “3rd Annual Diabetes Blog Week”. It was an eye-opening experience, and I learned a lot about myself and others with diabetes, and the parents of children with diabetes:
- I realized I was raised to not talk about my diabetes, nor show any of the paraphernalia involved with it. I believed it was almost shameful for me to have the diagnosis. Although I am finally growing through this belief (mostly due to having the opportunity to talk about my diabetic alert dog, Rainie), I’ve discovered that I usually discuss diabetes only when I’m in the ‘educator role’, or with close friends.
- One of the ‘topics of the day’ was to post photos that portray your diabetes. I’m still having a hard time, wondering why looking at pictures of other people’s pumps and meters and test-strips, CGMs, pump insertion sites, needles, syringes, glucagon packages, and bottles of glucose and insulin is interesting, especially when I can just go look at my own. Again, however, I see how my upbringing may have a lot to do with my attitude about this. Maybe it’s supposed to be a ‘bonding experience’.
- And, to add onto the above statement, I noticed very few photos of diabetic alert dogs! I can’t help wonder why there aren’t more of these life-saving dogs being trained and working out in the community saving lives? Again, I might be biased on this topic…
- I was surprised by what people shared about living with diabetes – the mundanities like out-of-control blood sugar readings, calculating meal boluses, trouble shooting, and the constant and continual trials and tribulations of living with diabetes, as well as the triumphs and utter fears involved. But, when I think about it, these issues are constant and continual trials and tribulations! We live with them every second of every day! And if support can’t be found in a safe place like the forum of Diabetes Blog Week, where can it be? I realize I’ve become so isolated from my own feelings about having diabetes for so long, and my habits have become so ingrained, that I forget that I’m not alone, and there is a world of ‘people like me’ ready to talk to and listen to me (and not as a teacher, but as another individual dealing with the 24/7 ups and downs).
- And finally, the last’s day’s topic was “Who is your Diabetic Hero?” And the only true answer is: WE ARE ALL HEROS! Whether we are adults or children with diabetes or family caring and supporting that person , caring friends, teachers, endos, politicians, researchers for a cure, or volunteers, everyone who supports someone at some time with this autoimmune condition called “diabetes” is a hero. And I thank you all, for your time and support and patience, understanding, smiles, hugs, hand-holds,and anything else that may be a ‘plus’ in a diabetic’s life.
` I love you all, Hilary